Electric Customer Choice Frequently Asked Questions

Electric Customer Choice is a statewide initiative that gives customers the option to choose the company that generates their electricity - generally referred to as Alternative Electric Suppliers. There are three separate activities involved in providing you electricity: generation, transmission and distribution. We will continue to provide the transmission and distribution portions of your service, but you are open to Electric Customer Choice for the generation portion of your electricity.

For more information, visit our Electric Customer Choice page.
Our team is happy to answer any questions you have about Electric Customer Choice. Just email us or call 800-805-0490.
Our Electric Choice enrollment process is designed to protect you from slamming. To keep your account safe, we recommend that you review your energy bill regularly and ensure your service level and supplier are accurate. If you feel you have been switched to a supplier improperly, please contact the supplier directly, or call us at 800-805-0490.

In June 2000, an electric restructuring legislation made slamming illegal, and the Michigan Public Service Commission established penalties for companies that engage in this practice. For more information about Electric Customer Choice and how to protect yourself, visit our Electric Customer Choice page or www.michigan.gov.
The market-based rate is a customer charge approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission. It accommodates customers who need to return to our full service without adequate notice, on a temporary basis, or without having met their minimum retail open access term requirement.
We will not release your account information without proper consent. Our business customers are required to submit a signed letter of authorization on their company letterhead before we will release customer information to an Alternative Electric Supplier or any other party. We will only release residential customer information directly to you, the customer.
Electric Customer Choice involves four parties: an Alternative Electric Supplier (AES), an aggregator, the utility and the customer.

Alternative Electric Suppliers: Entities that produce or purchase electricity on the wholesale market for retail sale to end-use customers. An AES does not provide electric transmission and distribution services. In Michigan, an AES refers to a retail company that has been licensed to sell electricity by the Michigan Public Service Commission.

Aggregator: A person or group that consolidates customers into a buying group for the purpose of purchasing large amounts of electricity. AESs, customers and brokers may act as aggregators.

Utility: Traditional electric utilities like Consumers Energy that sell regulated electricity in exclusively defined areas, and are responsible for energy distribution in those defined areas.

Customers: Residential, commercial or industrial end-users of electricity with facilities connected to the utility's distribution system.

Learn more about Electric Customer Choice.
"Notice" refers to the December 1 notice requirement. We will implement this notice requirement by mailing all active Electric Choice business customers a Notice of Intent to Return to Full Service form approximately 60 days prior to the annual deadline. Signed and returned forms constitute "Notice."
Upon return to full service with us, all residential customers and business customers who provide such notice (subject to the December 1 deadline for Notice of Intent to Return to Full Service) shall remain on full service for a minimum of 12 months. You can find more detailed notice information in section E.2.5 of the retail open access (ROA) tariff and rules.
The price you pay for your electricity will not affect the quality of the electricity you receive, regardless of which supplier you choose.
To avoid being charged a market-based rate upon return to full service, a business customer who is planning to return to full service after December 1 of the current year but before October of the following year should submit a notice of their intent by December 1.
Different Alternative Electric Suppliers (AESs) offer you different programs and prices, so it is best to compare rates before deciding. The more you understand your electric usage, the more prepared you'll be to make wise energy decisions. Consider the details of each program and ask questions such as:
  • What price is being offered?
  • Is the price fixed or variable?
  • Is this price guaranteed? If so, for how long?
  • If you are offering a discounted rate? To what part of my bill does this discount apply?
  • Do I have to sign a contract? If so, for how long?
  • Does the contract ensure energy supply through the two-year minimum term required on Electric Customer Choice?
  • What other charges, if any, will appear on my bill?
  • What services are included?
  • How do I contact the AES when I need assistance?
  • Is a deposit required?
  • Will I have to pay a fee to switch my electric supply from Consumers Energy to an AES?
  • What guarantees does the AES offer for its products and services?
  • Are there any penalties if I decide to switch from one AES to another?
  • Where is the AES located?
  • Does the AES have a local office or a local telephone number?
  • What literature does the AES have that can be mailed to me?
  • Does the AES have a website with more information?
  • Where are the AES’ sources of electric generation located?
  • What backup generation sources does the AES have? Where are they located?
If you choose another electric supplier, you may still be eligible to receive bill assistance from programs such as the Winter Protection Plan and Shut-off Protection Plan (for the Consumers Energy portion of your bill only).
To find a new electric supplier, visit the Michigan Public Service Commission’s list of Licensed Electric Suppliers in Consumers Energy’s Service Territory.
You may switch suppliers once a month with proper notification. There is a $5.00 fee for each switch, and switches may only occur on the first day of a bill cycle.
Residential customers likely will not need to change their electric meter to participate in Electric Customer Choice. A new meter may be required for commercial and industrial customers. If you are a medium or large commercial or industrial customer, please contact your Alternate Energy Supplier or call us at 800-805-0490.
Yes, you are always welcome back to our service for a $5.00 switch fee. Before you switch, check to see if the contract you signed with your supplier has a penalty for early termination. You also may be subject to a market-based rate charge if you do not fulfill your Electric Customer Choice (ECC) minimum term and/or do not meet required Notice of Intent to Return to Full Service requirements. Please see the Michigan Public Service Commission-approved E.2.5.
If the supplier you choose goes out of business, we are happy to supply your electricity unless you choose another supplier. Your supply of electricity will not be interrupted; however, you may be subject to the proper Notice of Intent to Return to Full Service requirements in our tariffs.
In the event of an emergency, call us at 800-477-5050. Our team will respond day or night.
We are the only entity allowed to physically turn off service to an Electric Choice customer. We will not turn service off if a customer is current on the company's bill for distribution services or has executed a settlement agreement with the company. The disconnection of service to an Electric Choice customer for nonpayment of their Consumers Energy bill for distribution service or for any violation of our tariffs is in accordance with our Electric Rate Schedules and Rules.
You may cancel and return to us for a $5.00 switch fee. You also may be subject to a market-based rate charge if you do not fulfill your Electric Customer Choice (ECC) minimum term and/or do not meet required Notice of Intent to Return to Full Service requirements. Please see the Michigan Public Service Commission-approved ECC tariffs and rules.
If you have questions about the price you are being charged for electricity, you should call your electric supplier. If your questions are about charges on your Consumers Energy bill, we would be happy to speak with you. Just email us or call 800-477-5050.
Under electric restructuring legislation, any company that would like to sell retail electricity in Michigan must be licensed by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). The MPSC’s website contains a list of Licensed Electric Suppliers in Consumers Energy’s Service Territory, where you can verify whether the supplier is licensed by the MPSC.
You do not have to participate in Electric Choice or select an Alternative Electric Supplier. You may choose to continue to buy your electricity from us under our rates that are regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission. Electric Customer Choice is designed to provide customers with options - and one of those options is to remain with Consumers Energy.
There is no deadline for selecting a new electric supplier. You may choose a new supplier at any time.